Cincinnati nightclub shooting: Everything you need to know

Posted at 5:16 AM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 10:11:43-04

The shooting that left one person dead and 15 others injured at Cameo Night Club Sunday morning was the largest mass shooting in the United States so far this year.

MAP: Mass shootings in the United States in 2017

Investigators believe multiple people fired shots after an argument broke out, but no arrests have been made.

Here are some details you should know about the shooting:

1. The Cincinnati Police Department Homicide Unit was called to Cameo Night Club at about 2:20 a.m.

The large, warehouse-style venue on Kellogg Avenue was crowded at the time of the shooting; investigators believe 200 people were inside the nightclub when shots broke out. People poured out of the nightclub to escape bullets. One woman dove on the ground outside to get out of harm’s way.

2. One person is dead, two others remain in critical condition

O'Bryan Spikes, 27, was the victim who died, according to Police Chief Eliot Isaac.

Sgt. Eric Franz described the situation a "large and complicated homicide scene,” according to ABC News.

After the shooting, eight victims were transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, two were taken to Christ Hospital with minor injuries, and the rest of the victims were taken to Bethesda North Hospital, Mercy West Hospital and Anderson Mercy Hospital.

People who were hurt while trying to escape were treated on the scene.

Two victims remain in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

3. No arrests have been made, and police and city officials are asking anyone with information to come forward

Investigators believe multiple people opened fire, and it’s too early to tell if any of the gunmen are among the injured, Isaac said.

Police don't have a description of the suspects, and Capt. Kimberly Williams said they were having trouble getting witnesses to cooperate.

"If anyone was a witness to anything that happened, obviously we need you to come forward with any information that you have, with anything that can help us identify the suspect involved in this incident," Williams said.

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also were at the scene Sunday morning. Police focused attention on a white car nearby; it was placed on a tow truck at about 6:30 a.m.

Isaac said police would continue interviewing witnesses and analyzing shell casings and other ballistics information.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. Callers can remain anonymous.

4. Officers had to step over some of the victims to reach the critically injured

Sgt. Dan Hils, president of Cincinnati's police union, said what officers encountered when they rushed inside the nightclub may have left them disturbed.

"I've heard that the officers that were there on scene were literally stepping over victims to get to the more critically injured victims," he said.

Hils said the officers called to the club will have access to police psychologists and clergy to make sure they, too, are recovering.

5. Four off-duty police officers were providing security outside the club

Four off-duty officers were working a private security detail outside the club at the time of the shooting. They were among the first to help the wounded.

Chief Eliot Isaac said it was up to the nightclub to provide security inside the building.

“It is my understanding that they do wand individuals and pat them down, however, what we know at this point, several firearms were able to be brought inside the bar,” Isaac said.

View the full press conference in the player below.




Mayor John Cranley said the nightclub’s security protocols will be carefully investigated.

“I do know that there were incidents at the club in the past, that they had agreed to a security protocol that included wanding people to go in.”

6. Sunday’s shooting was not the first shooting at Cameo

City spokesperson Rocky Merz said Sunday’s shooting was not the first shooting at the nightclub.

There was a prior shooting inside Cameo on New Year's Day 2015, Merz said, and another in the parking lot that September.

Cameo Night Club describes itself on its Facebook page as providing entertainment and excitement to the Tri-State. The Facebook page says the club is restricted to people 21 and up on Saturday nights and is open until 4 a.m. Sunday. It was previously called Club Cameo, and before that, a gay club called Adonis.

7. Multiple city and state officials have responded

Mayor John Cranley called the shooting “one of the worst days” in the city’s history.

Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, a mayoral candidate, said she was praying for the victims.

"We are still waiting for details about the shooter(s), and why and how this occurred," Simpson wrote on Facebook. "Thanks to CPD and Fire for their work in responding to this tragic incident."

Rob Richardson Jr., another mayoral candidate, said it hits close to home, as he has younger family members who attend the club.

8. The owner of Cameo issued a statement, saying the shooting was “senseless”

Jay Rodgers, the owner of Cameo, issued the following statement Sunday evening:  

“On behalf of the Cameo Nightclub family and staff, I want to express how deeply saddened we are by this senseless shooting.  Our goal is and has always been to provide a safe environment for our patrons.

As a part of this local community, we will continue to fully cooperate and work closely with law enforcement in their investigation to help bring the perpetrators to justice.  Cameo will remain closed until both our management completes our own investigation and the Cincinnati Police Department completes their investigation.

We extend our condolences to Obryan Spikes and his family as well as all affected patrons and their families.
We will do everything in our power to cooperate and make sure the monsters that did this are caught and brought to justice.

We ask anyone with information to call Crimestoppers: 513-352-3040.”